Now working for Amazon, Carlos started his career working in his native Peru in the transportation and supply of elementary products. He credits HEC MBA's curriculum for his job success.
What were you doing before your MBA? What are you doing now?
Before doing my MBA at HEC Paris, I was working in Peru for 5 years; I managed the transportation and supply chain of elementary products. This job allowed me to travel throughout South America - I worked in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. Now, I am a Senior Project Manager at Amazon.
Why did you decide to do an MBA, and what made you choose HEC?
The main reason that I decided to do an MBA was because I wanted to change the kind of projects and work I was doing; I was working in the supply chain area of the business, but I wanted to go more into projects. The second reason is that I wanted to change geographies and work all over the world, starting in France, which had always held a certain appeal for me. HEC is in itself a strong brand, recognised throughout the world, and I knew that it would help me progress in my career.
Do you think that you would be working where you are now if you hadn't done an MBA?
Well, there is no Amazon in South America, and so it is clear that studying in Europe directly helped me to get the job I have now. It's true that the MBA undoubtedly taught me important skills, such as the ability to manage different people, to lead and present myself to others and prospective employers, skills which were all instrumental in securing me the job I have now at Amazon. Before doing an MBA, I wouldn't have known how to present myself to a company such as Amazon, nor how to work out whether we'd be a good fit together. The interview training I received at HEC MBA was revelatory, and really changed my approach to interviews.
At Amazon, every project that I do is a new start, so I get to apply and adapt my MBA knowledge to various situations; each project has a technical side, an operational side and a financial side. I am able to do all the financial things that my job demands because of the knowledge I gained during my MBA. Without my MBA training, I wouldn’t have been able to do half of the things my job requires.
For you, what was the most memorable part of your HEC Paris MBA experience?
For me, it would have to be when I went to Senegal for a month and a half and I did a project for a small company who was trying to create a transportation business in a small city called St Louis. What I liked about it was that I could apply what I was learning in my MBA to a real project, and it was for non-profit organization. It allowed me go to Africa, to learn about a new country, a new culture. My French improved, and I was able to do something for somebody else.